NATO secretary general mum on Putin’s INF Treaty statement
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg did not provide a comment on Russian President Vladimir Putin's statement on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), claiming that Russia would start to produce the missiles banned by the treaty if the US chooses to exit it. On Wednesday, Stoltenberg repeated NATO’s allegations against Russia and mentioned the alliance’s recent statement, in which its members agreed to support the US on this issue.
"Russia has denied for years that they’re violating the INF Treaty. We’ve confronted them again and again with facts, with information, with our assessments, and they have continued to deny the existence of a new missile system," Stoltenberg informed, TASS reports.
"All allies agree that Russia is in violation, is in material breach of the INF treaty. All [NATO allies] agree that the US is in full compliance with the treaty. There are no new US missiles in Europe, but there are new Russian missiles, SSC-8. They are mobile, they are hard to detect, they are nuclear capable, they can reach European cities, and they reduce the warning time," the NATO secretary general said. "All missiles are dangerous, but of course, missiles which are hard to detect, nuclear capable and reduces the warning time, they are, if possible, even more dangerous," Stoltenberg added.
"That’s the reason why we have been so concerned about this for years," Stoltenberg stated. "We raised it [the issue] in the NATO-Russia council just a few weeks ago. Several allies announced in a meeting yesterday that they will raise this issue with Russia bilaterally," he said, adding that "Russia has the last chance to come into compliance with the INF Treaty." "But at the same time, we have to prepare for a world without the treaty," the secretary general concluded.